The Value of Stealth in the Game of Chess

  • Peter Smet
  • Don Gossink
  • Greg Calbert
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3809)


We have modified the rules of chess to create a game of imperfect information. By introducing hidden pieces into the game, we have been able to gauge the effect of uncertainty on playing strength. The addition of a hidden white piece led to white winning between 63%-89% of its games. The advantage gained from an invisible piece is dependent on both the type of piece that is hidden, and the search depth at which games are played. Greater search depths increase the value of hidden pieces, although diminishing returns were noted at increased depths. The advantage of a hidden piece is typically greater than the effect of an equivalent extra piece. In this sense, information superiority gained via stealth is a more powerful advantage than additional material. The results indicate that uncertainty arising from hidden pieces profoundly influences outcomes in the game of chess.


Imperfect Information Board Position Search Depth Powerful Advantage Extra Piece 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Smet
    • 1
  • Don Gossink
    • 1
  • Greg Calbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Command and Control DivisionDefence Science Technology Organisation (DSTO)EdinburghAustralia

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